Cold War Interview

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posted 11/2/2004 by Charles Husemann
other articles by Charles Husemann
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While the US is currently engaged in a "Hot War" in Iraq and Afghanistan the memories of the Cold War with the US have faded somewhat. Almost an entire generation has grown up without the spectre of the "Red Menace" and don't remember the cold ware fought between superpowers from the end of World War II until the late 1980's. This will change later this year when Dreamcatcher releases Cold War from Mindware Studios. The game has your playing Matt Carter, a US journalist caught in Soviet Russia in the wrong place at the wrong time and it will be up to you to get him back home in one piece. I recently had the chance to talk to Michal Hochmajer, a lead artist at Mindware about the game and here's what he had to say.

GamingNexus: Can you describe the plot and setting of the game?
Michal Hochmajer: As the title of the game suggests, it is set in the period of the Cold War between the USSR and the United States, specifically at its end, in the 1980s. Players will be able to identify themselves with an American journalist named Matt Carter, who - during his visit to Russia - finds himself, against his own will, in the midst of a plot reaching up to the highest places.

GamingNexus: What was the inspiration behind the game?
Michal Hochmajer: As for the Russian environment during the Cold War, we did not have to go very far for inspiration. For people living in the Czech Republic (the western part of former Czechoslovakia), Russia and its milieu was something of a next-door neighbor, so to say.

Cold War is not a classic stealth game. Cold War is a SPY game. In terms of its genre, we would classify it, let us say, as an action-adventure. At the heart of the game’s attractiveness is IMPROVISATION - our hero is no super agent, he is simply a man who happens to be "in the wrong place at the wrong moment" and now he must use all of his knowledge, skills and resourcefulness to cope with the emerging situations somehow.

GamingNexus: The protagonist in the game is not your typical action hero, how will this factor into the game?
Michal Hochmajer: Since our main hero is no secret agent, we have avoided the typical limitations of that genre - for instance the elimination of enemies in Cold War is based on the player’s immediate idea, his or her improvisation, and does not stem from any classical, I´ll-hide-in-a-corner-and-bump-everyone-off-with-my-agent-o-matic-gun, attitude.

We have tried our best to create a much more entertaining and open game, rather than devising another cold-blooded killer. We believe that our journalist will be a welcome change for anyone who is no longer keen on wearing a spandex : )

GamingNexus: Do you think younger gamers will understand the Cold War back story of the game?
Michal Hochmajer: Many young people definitely understand the Cold War background to the game since this is a conflict still portrayed in James Bond thrillers, books and the like. In fact, the Cold War was a war waged by spies, traitors and undercover government agencies, and as such it is an ideal backdrop to a thrilling spy story.
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